6 college prospects the Carolina Panthers should watch closely in 2021

(Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports) Carson Strong
(Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports) Carson Strong /
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The 2021 draft class is yet to take the field in a competitive setting, but with the college season underway who should the Carolina Panthers be keeping a close eye on?

Watching the Carolina Panthers rebuild has been impressive when you consider how competitive this team was in 2020. They are now coming out the other side and expected to be in the mix for a wildcard spot if Sam Darnold lives up to expectations.

Still, this Panthers team clearly has some roster issues they will look to address in next year’s draft. There are plenty of exciting college prospects Carolina should be watching very closely this season.

While this class lacks the quarterbacks of 2020, it still sets up to be a very strong list of prospects at a variety of positions.

If Darnold is healthy he could prove himself as a franchise quarterback and win the job long-term in Carolina. But nothing is set in stone.

With this in mind, here are six college prospects for the Panthers to monitor in 2021.

Prospect No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) Evan Neal /

Evan Neal – OT (Alabama)

The Carolina Panthers are banking on Cam Erving turning things around and becoming a starting-caliber left tackle this season. Something the player hasn’t yet been able to manage.

If the fears surrounding Erving come to fruition in the coming months, then a blindside protector is the top priority for the Panthers next spring. And the answer might be staring them in the face.

Evan Neal is a gargantuan presence on the edge with incredible athleticism for a man his size.

The Alabama tackle has the world at his feet in 2021. Although many believe he should be switched once he gets to the pros, this should not detract from what a potentially dominant force he could become at the next level.